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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Construction of the Brynmawr Lido 1931-32





Parc Lles a Lido Bryn-mawr
Gan mai tref haearn Bryn-mawr a welodd un o’r cyfraddau uchaf o ddiweithdra yn y Deyrnas Unedig yn ystod y Dirwasgiad Mawr, bu’n gartref i ‘Arbrawf Bryn-mawr’. Menter oedd honno dan arweiniad y Crynwyr i ddysgu sgiliau newydd, megis cynhyrchu celfi, i bobl ddi-waith. Bu’r dref hefyd yn ganolbwynt i brosiect gan y Gwasanaeth Gwirfoddol Rhyngwladol - mudiad o heddychwyr o’r Swistir - a Chyngor Hunan-Gymorth Myfyrwyr Cymru. Tynnodd y grwpiau hynny sylw rhyngwladol at effaith y caledi economaidd ar bobl De Cymru.

Codwyd Lido Bryn-mawr (NPRN 411741) rhwng 1931 a 1932 gan bobl Bryn-mawr a grŵp o wirfoddolwyr a oedd yn cynnwys dinasyddion o sawl cenedl yn Ewrop, gan gynnwys y Swistir Norwy, Sbaen a Gwlad Belg, yn ogystal â myfyrwyr o brifysgolion Leeds, Rhydychen, Caergrawnt, Llundain a phedwar coleg Prifysgol Cymru. Hwn oedd y cynllun cyntaf o’i fath ym Mhrydain a’r prosiect hamdden cyntaf un a gyflawnwyd gan y Gwasanaeth Gwirfoddol Rhyngwladol a oedd wedi ymsefydlu yn ystod y 1920au drwy gyflawni prosiectau a ymatebodd i drychinebau naturiol fel llifogydd neu afalansau eira.

Y record honno o wirfoddoli rhyngwladol a sicrhaodd y câi’r Lido ei gwblhau. Cyfyngedig oedd yr arian ar gyfer y prosiect, a phan ddaeth hi’n bryd prynu concrid i sicrhau bod y baddonau’n dal dŵr, doedd dim ceiniog ar gael yn lleol. Yn ffodus, cymaint oedd yr ymwybyddiaeth ryngwladol o Lido Bryn-mawr nes i gymuned fach Lagarde yn Ffrainc roi’r arian angenrheidiol i dalu amdano. Y flwyddyn gynt, roedd Lagarde wedi dioddef llifogydd dychrynllyd ac roedd gwirfoddolwyr (gan gynnwys sawl un o Brydain) wedi defnyddio arian a gawsai ei godi yn yr Iseldiroedd i fynd yno i helpu i ailgodi’r pentref. Gweddill yr arian hwnnw a anfonwyd gan Lagarde i Fryn-mawr. I goffáu’r rhodd , bu Maer Lagarde yn westai er anrhydedd yn seremoni agor Lido Bryn-mawr ym 1932.

Er i’r Lido gael ei ddymchwel yn y 1980au, cafodd y ffynnon ddŵr a arferai fod yn rhan o’r baddondai ei hachub a’i hadfer fel rhan o brosiect cymunedol dan arweiniad y cynghorydd lleol Terry Hughes. Cafodd y safle yn y Parc Lles ei agor ym mis Mehefin 2010 ac mae’n cynnwys arddangosiad clyweled sy’n disgrifio hanes a gwaddol Lido Bryn-mawr a’r bobl a’i cododd.

Cysylltau:


Brynmawr Welfare Park and Lido
During the Great Depression, the iron town of Brynmawr experienced one of the highest rates of unemployment anywhere in the United Kingdom. Home to the Quaker-led ‘Brynmawr Experiment’, an initiative designed to retrain the unemployed with new skills such as furniture manufacture, the town was also the focus of a project by the International Voluntary Service, a Swiss pacifist organisation, and the Welsh Student Self-Help Council. These groups brought international attention to the impact of economic hardship on the people of south Wales.

The construction of the Brynmawr Lido between 1931 and 1932 was undertaken by the people of Brynmawr and a group of volunteers that included citizens of several European nations including Switzerland, Norway, Spain, and Belgium as well as students from the universities of Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge, London, and the four university colleges of Wales. It was the first scheme of its kind in Britain and the very first recreational project undertaken by the International Voluntary Service, which, during the 1920s, had established itself through projects responding to natural disasters such as floods or avalanches.

It was to be this record of international voluntarism that ensured the completion of the Lido. Money for the project was limited and when the time came to purchase concrete to make the baths water-tight, none was available locally. Fortunately, international awareness of the Brynmawr Lido was such that the small French community of Lagarde donated the sum needed to do so. The year before, Lagarde had suffered from a devastating flood and volunteers (including several Britons) had helped to reconstruct the village using money fundraised in the Netherlands. It was the remainder of this money that was sent by Lagarde to Brynmawr. To commemorate the gift, the Mayor of Lagarde was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the Brynmawr Lido in 1932.

Although the Lido was demolished in the 1980s, the water fountain that once formed part of the baths was rescued and restored as part of a community project led by local Councillor Terry Hughes. The site, which lies within the Welfare Park, was opened in June 2010 and features a audio-visual display detailing the history and legacy of the Brynmawr Lido and the people who built it.

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